Has someone done something special for you lately? It may have been small; it may have been sizeable. Whatever it was, did you feel the desire to offer something back? Maybe someone opened the door for you, and you offered them a verbal “Thank you;” maybe it was a thank-you note that you wrote after someone brought you a meal; maybe an anonymous person sent you much needed funds at a critical time, and you purposed to help someone else in that way when you were able and felt the Spirit stirring; or…maybe it’s a small gift at this time of year or the end of the school year, which you offer to a teacher to say, “Thank you,” for all the help they have given your student. Whatever it is, we are designed to give thanks, recognizing the giver of something good.
We’re a little more than half way through our Judges 13 story, which we have been absorbing for a couple weeks now, soaking in many rich promises of Jesus Christ and His coming. If you haven’t read the last several posts, beginning with “Wonder–Too Good to Stop There,” feel free to take some time to take in those truths. I understand extra time, during this season, though, may be harder to come by, so the next few posts will be shorter; so, if you don’t have time to look back, or you are caught up, my prayer is that you will be filled by the nutrients packed into the one verse of Scripture we are soaking in today…that it will stir up excitement and praise…inwardly AND outwardly.
We left off with the Angel of the LORD giving Manoah the commands He had already given to Manoah’s wife earlier regarding the son that would be given to them. You may remember that Manoah’s wife was unable to have children, so this was super exciting and awe-inspiring news! As an offering of appreciation, a celebration of the promise of this child, and a display of hospitality, Manoah requested that the Angel of the LORD stay, so Manoah and his wife could prepare a meal for Him. Back in that day, as you probably do now, they gave their valued guests their best; this included meat.
Manoah offered that he and wife would prepare meat–a goat–for this messenger (Verse 16 tells us that he didn’t know He was the Angel of the LORD). The fact that Manoah said, “we,” regarding who would prepare the goat, is significant. If it was a regular meal, the woman would have prepared the food. The fact that both the man AND the woman would work together to prepare the food tells us this was a festive occasion–a celebration of the gift of this son–and meant to give attention to their guest.
We’ll stop there today, as this week, we will, hopefully, be celebrating Jesus’ birth and giving attention to Who He is—A Wonder–and why He came. Take some time this week to consider how you are doing that. Are you clear that it’s Jesus you’re celebrating, the gift of God’s Son, or has that gotten lost in the purchasing and giving of gifts? Are you talking about the gifts Jesus was given by the wise men and the gift of Jesus Himself to humanity, or is the central focus on humanity? I even think about the sugar cookies my family made this weekend and how they could tell the tale of how we each are created uniquely to display and share this wonder with others. While we may be “cut out” of similar molds, we are decorated and designed by the Creator with individual beauty for His purpose. It’s enough to drop the icing! I can see the connection in my head and heart, but am I taking the opportunity to share it with my family and others, celebrating this wonder, so that they, too, can focus their celebration on the One Who made them, purposed them, and saved them?
How today can we, together, prepare and share truths that can be feasted on? I would love for you to share with our Liv community how you are making the connection and inviting others to celebrate with you!
It makes me so sad to say that I haven't worked on the Bible study in two months! Since school has started, and I have one kiddo at home in an online academy, I find quiet time to dig in extremely challenging. Please pray over this with me...